“This manual was elaborated under the project “Sports as a Tool for Empowerment of (Dis)Abled & Displaced Youth – STEADY” (www.steady-project.eu) with the aim to highlight the positive relation between sports and social inclusion and present good practices of social inclusion of migrants and refugees in and through sports.
In this Manual, good practice examples are gathered on the inclusion of migrants and ethnic minorities in and through sport as well as the inclusion of person (including youth) with Disabilities. It also presents examples of corporal strategies for inclusion in and through sport on the national or the regional level and it analyzes different Participation Models.
It endeavors to highlight the challenges to be taken up by sport initiatives and the decisions required to remove the systemic barriers and counter the negative attitudes and social exclusion which prevent displaced children and young people with disabilities from developing their potential, improving their quality of life and participating in social life.
The migration crisis that began in 2015 has led to a large debate at the European level on the measures that need to be taken in order to facilitate the settlement of the refugees and migrants and promote their social inclusion. Such an effort is a great challenge for the EU Member States, but its reward will be communities that are enriched with diversity and strong social bonds. As one of the pillars of European society, sports have an important part to play in making society more inclusive. Sports’ exceptional ability to bring people together, to help them connect and to learn new skills makes them one of the most potent community-building tools.
Concerning the content of the manual, it is structured as follows: in the first section, we present briefly the current influx of refugees and migrants in the EU, the lack of evidence regarding the situation concerning migrant and refugees with disabilities, as well as the EU legal and policy response in relation to migration and asylum seeking.
In the second section, we highlight the role of sports in promoting the social inclusion of persons with disabilities, as well as in promoting the social inclusion of refugees and migrants. In the third section, we present the key elements that we consider of high importance when designing and implementing projects and initiatives for the promotion of inclusion of migrants and refugees with disabilities in and through sports, as well as relevant indicative good practices. Moreover, we propose recommendations concerning the sports policies and strategies that need to be adopted for the inclusion of migrants and refugees, and in particular for the inclusion of displaced persons with disabilities, in and through sports. The recommendations refer to various level and areas that are considered important for creating a safe and inclusive sport environment, removing the barriers and challenges that migrants and refugees are facing, and enhancing their participation in social life and sports.
The information presented in this manual has been collected through a desk research and is based on the relevant literature as well as on evidence from other projects and initiatives undertaken at local, regional and national level. The good practices selected are indicative and does not constitute an exhaustive list of good practices.
Overall, it should be pointed out that the Manual aims to provide valuable information to sports organisations, clubs and relevant authorities in order to promote the participation of displaced young people with disabilities in sport activities.
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